As the pandemic goes on and the global social, political, and economic environment gets increasingly tense, people become more and more vulnerable to various psychological problems and mental health disorders. For instance, studies show that about 4 in 10 adults in the US have experienced the symptoms of anxiety and depression during the pandemic.
New challenges make it even harder to remain emotionally stable in the workplace. In particular, about 14.7% of US employees have some kind of mental health issue in the workplace, which is definitely a high number. As a result, business owners started to provide mental health benefits for their employees in order to increase their productivity and avoid job burnout.
As business owners, we understand the advantages of giving our employees mental health benefits, and that’s why we make sure that every member of our team at Health for Life Counseling Grand Rapids gets sufficient support. In this blog, we’ll discuss the advantages of supporting employees with mental health benefits.
Mental Health Benefits in the Workplace
Ensuring that employees are mentally ready to perform their duties is one of the main concerns of modern employers. The reason is that mental health is significantly related to job satisfaction and, therefore, job performance (Faragher & Cooper, 2003). In fact, common psychological problems such as depression, anxiety, self-esteem issues, or job burnout often lead to dissatisfaction with the job and reduced productivity.
It goes without saying that employees’ satisfaction and work engagement directly affect the company’s success. Therefore, it has become vitally important for business owners to support their employees by providing mental health benefits.
Mental health benefits usually include a specific type of health insurance that covers counseling or therapy. Sometimes, business owners even provide an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) that aims to help employees resolve their personal issues that affect their job performance. It doesn’t matter whether the problems of the employees are related to work or whether they have issues outside the workplace, psychological problems have a significant impact on the quality of the work. That’s why business owners try hard to make sure their employees get needed mental health benefits. And this, in turn, has a positive effect on the company’s returns.
Working as a counselor or therapist is also accompanied by mental health risks. In fact, counselors are vulnerable to feeling stress, discomfort, and other negative emotions. Consequently, they may feel disconnected from their colleagues, and embraced by their patients’ problems. That’s why we believe that providing mental health benefits for our employees here at Health for Life Counseling Grand Rapids is vital for effective functioning, content, and desired results.
Why Does Supporting Employees Matter to Business Owners?
Perhaps unsurprisingly for business owners, a mentally healthy workplace is beneficial not only for the employees but for the business itself too. Although some employers think that providing professional support for their team costs a lot, the result is actually worth it because a mentally healthy environment in the workplace means addressing the safety, health, and well-being of the employees. And this will likely promote productivity and decrease the long-term costs of the company.
Here are the main reasons why supporting the employees’ mental health is crucially important for business owners:
- To improve their employees’ overall productivity and engagement
Emotional difficulties, problems in social relationships, stress, mood, or anxiety disorders significantly affect an employee’s productivity in the workplace. Sometimes, business owners might think that the worker isn’t satisfied with the job or lacks the motivation to perform the tasks efficiently, but the real problem might be hidden in their mental health. Why? Because experiencing psychological problems doesn’t allow them to put all their efforts into work.
Instead, they spend time dealing with their problems on their own, which reduces productivity. But employers who invest in mental health benefits can help their employees improve their overall psychological well-being, increase work engagement, and become more productive as a result.
- To prevent burnout
Even the best employees experience job burnout from time to time. Job burnout is a type of work-related stress that involves physical and emotional exhaustion from work and leads to other mental health issues too. This might cause absenteeism and also a high turnover rate, which negatively affects the company’s performance.
Generally, work burnout happens when employees experience work-related stress that is not properly managed. But if the business owners take this matter into account, chances are that they will help their team prevent burnout and perform the job without feeling too much stress or exhaustion.
- To reduce costs and increase profits
Other than improving the overall mental health of their team, business owners are interested in providing mental health benefits in order to reduce their company’s costs and increase benefits. It’s true that promoting mental health doesn’t increase the company’s revenue directly. Moreover, in the short term, it might be related to extra costs without any obvious improvement. However, it’s considered a wise financial decision for the business in the long term. Why?
Because investing in your employees’ mental health means that you can maintain a productive, motivated, and dedicated team for a long time, reducing absenteeism and employee turnover. This means that supporting employees’ mental health is mutually beneficial for both sides, and there’s no reason to avoid implementing a mental health support system in the organization.
How to Support Employees’ Mental Health at the Workplace?
Even in the most difficult and stressful times, there are many things that business owners can do to support their employees and help them overcome psychological problems. Among them, providing the opportunity for them to take part in counseling or therapy is definitely the most important. But also, there are plenty of efficient ways to give your employees mental health benefits:
- Provide stress management training
As we pointed out, stress is a common problem in the workplace. In fact, 80% of employees have felt stress on the job. But stress reduction training is a great way to ensure your employees use their full potential and achieve better employee engagement.
- Ensure that tasks are manageable and offer flexibility
In order to effectively perform their tasks, employees must have the proper number of tasks that are suitable for their skills and proficiency. Besides, offering flexibility is a great way to increase their motivation and show that you care about their needs. As a result, the employees will be able to manage tasks faster and more efficiently.
- Avoid unfair treatment
Nowadays, unfair treatment and even discrimination of employees is very common in the workplace. And this only makes the team members more vulnerable, which in turn harms the company’s success. That’s why it’s important to avoid a hostile work environment and make sure that you treat your employees fairly and equally.
- Build a culture of connection
Having private conversations with your employees will help you determine their stress level and risk of developing mental health disorders. Try to build a culture of connection, take your employees’ viewpoints into account, and develop trust in your organization. By using an empathetic leadership style, you can ensure that your employees won’t feel additional pressure from the organizational structure.
All in all, giving your employees mental health benefits is a great way for business owners to increase their ability to be content and result in better work performance. Our team understands that our colleagues’ productiveness heavily depends on their emotional and psychological well-being. Consequently, we try hard to make sure that the mental health of people who work at Health for Life Counseling is optimal.